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Keisuka Honda’s new gigs for club… and country?

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Keisuke Honda is a busy man.

A living legend of Japanese soccer at 32, Honda has a new club in Australia’s Melbourne Victory.

He’s also the coach and general manager of the Cambodian national team.

[ MORE: Maguire extends with Leicester ]

Wait, what now?

Honda retired from international football following the 2018 World Cup, leaving a legacy of 32 international goals in just under 100 caps.

That includes goals in three separate World Cups, which would be enough to brand him an international hero even were he not to carry with him silverware from stints at AC Milan and CSKA Moscow.

So when he left Japan and most recent team Pachuca to sign for new gigs in Australia and Cambodia, it raised more than a few eyebrows. From the AP:

Honda said he and Cambodia’s football association have talked about “how we make Cambodian players grow up for the future,” so he is focusing on how he can raise them to “a good level.” He said he was confident because “they have huge potential.”

“We have trained a very good lot the last couple of days,” he said. “I already found a lot of good players and experienced players and young players.”

Cambodia is ranked 170th in the world by FIFA, and plays its first match under Honda on Sunday against Malaysia. The Malaysians are ranked 171, so watch for the upset, Keisuke.

Cambodia has won just twice since the start of 2017, only defeating Afghanistan and Laos, while losing by five-or-more in three of their 10 losses. All of their players save Thierry Chantha Bin play domestically, and Bin plays in Malaysia.

Plenty of work for Honda. We’ll be watching, and at the very least Honda should be able to open doors abroad for his new charges.

Andres Iniesta keeps scoring for new club Vissel Kobe

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Andres Iniesta’s departure from long-time club Barcelona is still taking some getting used to for those in Spain, however, the former Catalan midfielder seems to be adjusting just fine in his new life in Japan.

[ MORE: Newcastle clears DeAndre Yedlin after opening day PL injury ]

Iniesta made his debut for J-League side Vissel Kobe last week, which fittingly resulted with a victory and a goal of epic proportions from the Spain international.

His second time out on the pitch resulted in a similar outcome; with a goal that brought the Vissel Kobe supporters to their feet (watch below).

WATCH: Iniesta’s sensational turn leads to Vissel Kobe goal

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And now we take a quick trip to Japan, where Andres Iniesta is developing his wine business and OH… MY… GOODNESS.

The Barcelona legend, 34, scored a wonderful goal off a silky turn for his new club Vissel Kobe on Saturday.

[ MORE: Yedlin injured for Newcastle ]

Iniesta starts the play at midfield and then runs 50 yards seemingly unnoticed to get on the end of a terrific ball.

He then turns it with barely a touch, spinning to work his way into a familiar scoring position.

Wow.

 

Keisuke Honda signs for A-League’s Melbourne Victory

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Japan star Keisuke Honda has signed for Melbourne Victory as a marquee player for the club in the 2018-19 Australian A-League season.

The Victory confirmed the signing Monday, making the 32-year-old Japanese international the club’s biggest signing in its 13-year history.

Honda told Fox Sports that he wanted a new challenge, “so I’m satisfied,” to be moving to Australia.

“I checked a couple of things — Melbourne Victory is the most successful club in the A-League … they became champions many times.”

Honda is set to arrive in Melbourne next week after commencing negotiations following Japan’s exit at the World Cup in Russia last month.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat said Honda, who moved from AC Milan to Mexican club Pachuca last year, was a proven performer at the highest level and “we can’t wait to see what he can do in Melbourne.

“He brings world-class ability and offers great flexibility in the front third of the pitch,” Muscat said. “It’s obviously an added benefit to have him a part of our AFC Asian Champions League campaign too.”

Victory will kick off its domestic season on Oct. 20 against Melbourne City.

The deal with Honda involved support from Victory, Football Federation Australia and broadcaster Fox Sports. Details of the contract were not released.

Newcastle announces signing of Japanese striker Muto

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Rafa Benitez finally has the attacking threat he’s been begging for all summer.

Newcastle United announced Friday they have completed the transfer of Japanese international Yoshinori Muto.

The 26-year-old arrives from Bundesliga side FC Mainz where he joined in the summer of 2015 from J-League team FC Tokyo. Muto made 72 appearances for the German club across all competitions, scoring 23 goals and assisting 11 others.

Muto has 25 international caps to his name for Japan, riding the bench for most of the 2018 World Cup aside from a start in the final group stage match against Poland where he played 82 minutes without scoring or assisting a goal as Japan fell 1-0 to Poland.

According to the Newcastle Chronicle, the Magpies have forked out $12.5 million for the transfer, which is subject to receipt of a work permit.

To this point in the summer window, Newcastle had secured the services of center-back Fabian Schar, midfielder Ki Seung-young, and goalkeeper Martin Dubravkia. Still, Benitez was desperate to add to the attacking ranks, with little support for star Ayoze Perez. The acquisition of Muto likely eases the fears of allowing want-away striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to leave, with Fulham in pursuit.